Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences

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Wild buffalos at Mai Po Nature Reserve

06 August 2018

The Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, Prof. Reichel, and Dr Padalino (Assistant Professor in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health) recently visited the Mai Po Nature Reserve, a designated Ramsar site and protected site of scientific interest managed by WWF Hong Kong.

Dr Padalino gave advice to the Mai Po management team on how to train their wild buffalos to become accustomed to people and being handled if necessary. Principles of positive reinforcement training were explained and demonstrated with one bull, which already has a good human animal relationship. A training plan was proposed for the other four buffalos, which have never been handled and usually show aggressive behaviours toward people.

Dr Padalino (5th from right) discussing training methods with Mai Po staff

The visit was also an opportunity to explore teaching and learning opportunities for Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) students, possible research collaboration and opportunities for veterinary input into the wildlife and conservation medicine efforts at Mai Po.

BVM students will visit the reserve to conduct behavioural studies and practical classes on handling and training in November as part of their training in animal behaviour.